Regional public relations consultancy ASDA’A dominated the Public Relations category of the 2007 GMR Effectiveness in Marketing Awards (GEMAS) held recently in Dubai, earning recognition for its work on two of the Middle East’s most prestigious brands – Emaar Properties and the BBC World Service.
ASDA’A, the largest independent public relations agency in the Middle East, snapped up two awards for its work on the record-breaking Emaar Economic City Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Saudi Arabia last year, and its successful campaign to revitalize the BBC Arabic radio service across the Middle East.
Ten million Saudis, approximately half the country’s national population, subscribed to the 10-day Emaar EC IPO held from July 22 to August 2 last year – a resounding success in the face of a major stock market downturn compounded by the war in Lebanon. Oversubscribed by 2.82 times, the SR2.55 bn IPO received 2.8 million applications and generated SR 7.18 bn in total subscriptions.
Two of ASDA’A’s specialist teams – the Corporate and Financial practices – were involved in developing and implementing the agency’s investor relations strategies before, during and after the IPO.
Issam Galadari, Managing Director of Emaar International - Middle East and North Africa, said ASDA’A played a critical role in fostering market confidence and encouraging investors to realize the importance of the IPO from a socio-economic perspective.
“ASDA’A has been our partner in growth throughout the region for several years, and we look forward to many more shared triumphs as we expand our base of operations,” Galadari said. “The agency’s commitment, attention to detail, strategic vision and knowledge of regional nuance have contributed greatly to our success.”
ASDA’A’s 13-office regional network also played a key role in its successful BBC Arabic campaign. Faced with the twin challenges of competition from satellite TV and FM radio and an ageing audience, the BBC Arabic service sought to reposition itself with young audiences across the region.
ASDA’A’s five-nation integrated marketing communications campaign introduced BBC Arabic’s radio and online content to Arab youth and invited them to participate in and inform future programming. The campaign, entitled ‘Your Future… Who Decides It?’ built a number of promotional and PR activities around a series of high-profile debates hosted by BBC Arabic in the Palestinian territories, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
The campaign, coordinated by the ASDA’A Event Management team, engaged more than 270,000 people in the five nations and generated more than 300,000 visits to the BBCArabic.com web site.
Alan Booth, Controller, Marketing Communications & Audiences, for the BBC World Service said: “The ASDA’A team contributed a great deal to the success of Your future… who decides it?, and taught us a lot about marketing and communications in the Middle East. Highly professional, diligent and extremely hardworking, the ASDA’A team impressed the BBC with their commitment, energy and enthusiasm.”
ASDA’A Managing Director Sunil John said the diverse campaigns represented the breadth and depth of the firm’s capabilities.
“Each of these campaigns speaks directly to ASDA’A’s ability to engage audiences throughout the region, from street to boardroom level,” John said. “The awards celebrate ASDA’A’s unique insights into the Middle East, our professional focus and our leadership in a competitive marketplace.”
Launched in 2003, the Gulf Marketing Review awards have established a reputation for their objectivity and integrity. The awards, which recognize, reward and further marketing excellence, are awarded in 12 categories ranging from new brand and product launches to corporate social responsibility.
The GEMAS are judged by a panel of senior international and regional marketing practitioners and academics, and assessed on the basis of superior value, differentiation, innovation, effective use of resources, clarity of objective and methodology of results measurement. The independent panel was chaired by Paul Gostick, International Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK.
Established in 1992, ASDA’A is the region's leading public relations consultancy, with over 170 professionals in 13 offices across the region. With these resources, the company is able to provide a comprehensive regional service covering the Middle East and North Africa. Winner of the Campaign Middle East 'PR Agency of the Year Award 2006', Asda'a prides itself on its innovative approach to client servicing and its commitment to quality and result-oriented communications.
Aligned globally with Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations agency, ASDA’A provides communications solutions through a deep rooted philosophy of perception management. The agency provides services through its six practices in the sectors of Technology, Corporate, Finance, Healthcare, Consumer Marketing and Public Affairs. The services include media relations, issues management, media training, corporate advertising, print and web publishing, media monitoring and analysis and event management.
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